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Vernon K. RobbinsProfessor Emeritus

Professor Robbins received his B.A. in Philosophy with honors from Westmar College, his B.D. with honors from United Theological Seminary, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. In 2001 he was named Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities at Emory. His area of research is the New Testament in its Jewish and Hellenistic-Roman environment, with special interests in rhetoric and social scientific methods of investigation. Recently, he has begun to broaden these interests to comparative study of sacred Islamic and Hindu texts.

Among his twelve authored, co-authored, and edited books, Jesus the Teacher (1984, 1992 pb) launched a new method in biblical studies called socio-rhetorical criticism. Most recent publications include The Invention of Christian Discourse, Volume 1(2009) and Sea Voyages and Beyond: Emerging Strategies of Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation (2010). Earlier foundational publications include The Tapestry of Early Christian Discourse: Rhetoric, Society and Ideology (Routledge, 1996) and Exploring the Texture of Texts: A Guide to Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation (Trinity Press International, 1996). His most recent book is Who Do People Say I Am? Rewriting Gospel in Emerging Christianity (2013). He serves on national and international editorial boards, is general editor of Emory Studies in Early Christianity, co-editor ofThe Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity, and co-director of the International Seminar on Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation.


  • B.A. in Philosophy with honors, Westmar College
  • B.D. with honors, United Theological Seminary
  • M.A., University of Chicago
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago